Ray Tanner got to spend some of his first money as USC’s athletics director on Friday.
On Tanner’s third official day on the job, the school’s board of trustees approved a $2 million, five-year contract for his successor, baseball coach Chad Holbrook.
Holbrook’s $400,000 in guaranteed annual pay is $306,000 less than what Tanner received in his final season at Carolina Stadium.
Tanner spent 25 years as a head coach at N.C. State and USC. Holbrook was hired for his first college head coaching job last month after serving as associate coach and recruiting coordinator under Tanner while the Gamecocks won two NCAA titles and finished as the national runner-up this year.
In his new deal, Holbrook is eligible for up to $170,000 in incentives — nearly equaling his previous annual salary of $176,000.
Incentives include winning the SEC regular-season title ($15,000), reaching the College World Series ($10,000), claiming a national championship ($50,000) and achieving a team academic progress rate of 975 or better ($10,000).
“It’s a seamless transition,” Tanner said. “He’s done an outstanding job in his entire career. I think the success of the baseball program will continue.”
Tanner said he’s being conservative with the athletics department’s checkbook in his first week.
Still, in his first trustees meeting since trading his ball cap for a coat and tie, the board approved contracts for Holbrook along with women’s golf coach Kalen Anderson (four years, $440,000) and new women’s tennis coach Kevin Epley (three years, $300,000).
Anderson received a 25 percent annual raise, up $22,500 per year, after her team finished a school-record fifth at the NCAA championships last season.
Asked how he is getting acclimated to his new job, Tanner said: “Tremendous number of meetings.”
The remaining leadership from former athletics director Eric Hyman’s staff has “done a wonderful job of getting me comfortable already,” Tanner said. “Now, I have been there for 16 years, so it’s not a complete orientation but certainly different avenues than I have experienced.”